In these days of social distancing and remote work, it's easy to think that the hardest part of leading is no longer being in the same physical space as your team. But the truth is, leading was never about control - it was always about influence. And the reason companies are struggling now isn't because they can't control their employees, it's because they've lost control of the narrative.
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“If working remotely is such a great idea, why isn’t everyone doing it? I think it’s because we’ve been bred on the idea that work happens from 9 to 5, in offices and cubicles. It’s no wonder that most who are employed inside that model haven’t considered other options or resist the idea that it could be any different. But it can.” – Jason Fried
See, the thing is, companies have always been built on a foundation of control.
From the top-down hierarchies to the way information is tightly held within silos, companies have been designed to keep things contained and orderly. But what this pandemic has shown us is that when you take away the physicality of work, all you're left with is the relationships between people.
And that's where things have always been messy.
The pandemic has just forced us to deal with it.
Now, there are a lot of people who will tell you that the answer to this problem is better communication. And while communication is certainly important, it's not the solution. The solution is understanding that relationships are complex and ever-changing - and that the only way to lead effectively in this new world is by embracing that complexity.
So, if you find yourself struggling to lead in this new world, don't worry - you're not alone. The truth is, we're all struggling with this new reality. But the key is to remember that relationships are complex and ever-changing - and that the only way to lead effectively in this new world is by embracing that complexity.